Tagged: hendrik hertzberg

Privacy Shmrivacy

The comedian Pete Holmes used to do a bit about how Facebook was actually a giant government conspiracy to get us to give up our privacy rights. Three years ago, it seemed funny. That a shockingly large percentage of Americans believe Edward Snowden ought to be tried for high crimes – treason is the offense...

A Los Angeles Worthy of Candide

Everything’s working perfectly. The Los Angeles City Council has allowed several major real estate developments, including residential towers, to begin construction in Hollywood on or near major earthquake fault lines. Geologic surveys were never ordered, but the developers, major political donors all, assured everyone that there was no problem, so it was therefore decided that...

What Has 2014 Wrought?

There once was a magic crystal ball that “fell” to Times Square on the stroke of Midnight. When the magic ball dropped, 2013 changed into 2014. And suddenly everything was different. Well, not everything. Orwellian doublespeak was still flourishing. Time Warner was still telling their customers that an impending 18% price increase was in fact...

Poem: Scandal

IN MEMORY OF EUGENE KONIK, born February 27, 1936. R.I.P.   And although I don’t share your candid misanthropy I understand and I am sorry. Father who left us all too soon I understand and I am sorry. Our species, the one you claimed to despise, having peered inside yourself and all around the carousel, having...

Family Problems

In the aftermath of the devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, where thousands died and hundreds-of-thousands more were left homeless, almost everyone I spoke to asked the same question: My Filipina wife — was anyone in her immediate family affected? Everyone was greatly relieved to learn that, no, none of my wife’s immediate...

To Protect and to Serve and to Text

Terminal 3 at LAX is where we go when booked on Alaska Airlines. We’re familiar with the terminal’s passenger screening area, where, last week, an angry white male drew a gun and began shooting TSA agents, killing one, wounding many others, and sending hundreds of terrified bystanders running for safety out of emergency exits and...

Poem: News from the Home Front

We learned this week that being the Governor of California requires extraordinary quotients of shamelessness. Jerry Brown is not embarrassed to be the Prison Industry’s boy in Sacramento, and so we should not be embarrassed to have elected him to lead us and protect us from druggies, who Brown prefers to leave behind bars, the...

Muzzle the Bums!

The government shutdown didn’t last long enough last week to stop a federal judge from overturning an Arizona anti-begging law. He said it was unconstitutional. He said it infringed on the “free speech” rights of beggars. Since when do beggars have rights? (We already know they don’t have choices, since beggars can’t be choosers.) The...

To Fail Too Big

Remember back in 2008, when it was decided by those who decide such things that Lehman Brothers wasn’t too big to fail, and the planet’s financial infrastructure melted down? Remember when the mortgage bubble built from “collateralized debt” burst like cheap balloons? It’s been five years. Memories fade. You may have already forgotten that the...

Litter in Runyon Canyon: An Update

One year ago we began picking up litter in Runyon Canyon and the Hollywood streets near it. For three-days-a-week, for more than 52 weeks, we’ve collected anything we see (and can reach) that doesn’t belong on the ground — or in a tree or on a bush. SINCE PUBLISHING THE ORIGINAL ESSAY, WE’VE COLLECTED NEARLY 3,000...